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Ireland Progress To Quarter-Finals Despite Mixed Day In Sydney

While you were sleeping, Ireland were taking part on Day 1 of the Sydney leg of the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens World Series. 

Ireland were drawn in a tough pool with Russia, Canada and Fiji but they have come through this task to qualify for the quarter-finals despite just winning one game.

Although Anthony Eddy’s side will be disappointed to lose two games, the stated aim before this tournament was to reach the quarter-finals so the squad can take some consolation that they achieved that.

Ireland were first up against Russia but they got off to a disappointing start when they conceded a try in the opening minute to Baizat Khamidova. Ireland hit back through a try by Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, converted by Lucy Mulhall, which meant the sides were level 7-7 going into the break but the Russians scored two further tries in the second half through Elena Zdrokova and Alena Mikhaltsova to leave Ireland on the end of a 19-7 loss. 

Next up were the Canadians who Ireland lost to 31-0 last time out in Dubai but Ireland put in a much-improved performance this time around but ultimately lost 24-12. Both sides traded tries in the opening four minutes. First, Canada’s Julia Greenshields touched down before Ireland hit back through Stacey Flood. The Canadians extended their lead by the half-time break thanks to a further score from Natasha Watcham-Roy. Mulhall got the first try of the second half which gave the Irish some hope of pulling off a shock result but the Canadians showed too much quality as Brittany Benn and Hannah Darling scored a try a piece to leave Ireland on the receiving end of a 12 point defeat.
Finally, Ireland faced Fiji in their final Pool game but they went into this match in the knowledge knowing that they handed the Fijians a 20-12 defeat in Dubai last time out.
It was much tighter affair this time out as Ireland secured a narrow 17-14 victory and it was all about perseverance which the Irish showed in abundance, perfectly summed up by Murphy Crowe’s try which displayed her powerful leg drive and willingness to never give up to score her side’s first try after Ireland again conceded an early try in the game.

That victory proved crucial in the end as Ireland squeezed through to the quarter-finals where they will face New Zealand. The Black Ferns powered their way through Pool B with three victories so Ireland will certainly have a tough task on their hands if they hope to reach the semi-finals.

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Author: Sean McMahon

Sean is Deputy Editor and head rugby writer. You can contact him by email [email protected] or on Twitter